Wild Wild Life

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"Wild Wild Life"
Wild Wild Life.jpg
Byrne, Frantz, Weymouth and Harrison in the 12-inch vinyl edition
Single by Talking Heads
from the album True Stories
Released 1986
Genre Rock, new wave
Label Sire Records
Songwriter(s) David Byrne
Producer(s) Andy Zax, Talking Heads
Talking Heads singles chronology
"Once in a Lifetime (Live)"
"Wild Wild Life"
"Love for Sale"

"Once in a Lifetime (Live)"
"Wild Wild Life"
"Love for Sale"

"Wild Wild Life" is a song by the American new wave band Talking Heads. Released in 1986, it was the lead single from their album True Stories.

Music video[edit]

The video for the song won "Best Group Video" at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1987. Taken from the film True Stories, with some additional content, it includes band member Jerry Harrison parodying Prince. "My favorite T. Heads video, the most fun to make," Harrison recalled in the liner notes of Once in a Lifetime: The Best of Talking Heads. "I always wondered what Prince thought of it." The rest of the band also appears in various costumes.

The video is set in a 1960s ambienced cabaret bar, where a frantic series of unannounced performers lip sync to the song, imitating such singers as Madonna and Billy Idol as disjointed images play across a wall of video screens behind them. Byrne wrote about this scene:

The song itself becomes a vehicle that can say anything they want it to. Some gestures and movements are obviously derived from well-known sources: television shows ... movies ... and, most recently, rock videos. Odd to think that some lip-synchers are imitating characters in videos, who are really musicians imitating other characters.[1]

Actor John Goodman, prior to his fame in the sitcom Roseanne, appeared in both the film and MTV versions of the video. Goodman was also featured on the B-side's "People Like Us", a song which also appeared in the film.

Track listing[edit]

7": Sire Records / 9 28629-7 (US)[edit]

1."Wild Wild Life"3:39
2."People Like Us (Movie Version)"4:23

12": Sire Records / 9 20593-0 (US)[edit]

1."Wild Wild Life (Extended Mix)"5:30
2."Wild Wild Life"3:39
3."People Like Us (Movie Version)"4:23


Chart (1986) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[2] 13
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 [3] 25
UK Singles Chart[4] 43
New Zealand Singles Chart[5] 2
Dutch Singles Chart[6] 42
Irish Singles Chart[7] 9
Swiss Singles Chart[8] 20

Use in media[edit]

The song was covered by Wailing Souls for the 1993 movie Cool Runnings.

The song was used in a trailer for the 2003 animated film Brother Bear.[9]

The song was also featured in trailers for the 2006 animated film Over the Hedge,[10] at the beginning of the 2006 animated film Open Season, and was included on the Open Season soundtrack CD.

Featured in movie "United Passions."

From David Byrne's movie, "True Stories."

Other performances[edit]

David Byrne had never played the song live until he and St. Vincent added it to the setlist for their Love This Giant tour. It was played live for the first time on June 11, 2013, at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, New Jersey, with each of the eight-piece brass section taking turns to sing a line of the song twice during the performance.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Sytze Steenstra (2010). "Song and Circumstance: The Work of David Byrne from Talking Heads to the Present". A&C Black. p. 112.
  2. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  3. ^ Billboard Magazine
  4. ^ The Official Charts Company. "UK Albums Chart". Every Hit. Retrieved 2010-05-17.
  5. ^ Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (September 14, 1986). "New Zealand Singles Chart". New Zealand Charts. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
  6. ^ MegaCharts (October 4, 1986). "Dutch Singles Chart". Dutch Charts. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
  7. ^ Irish Recording Music Association (September 7, 1986). "Irish Singles Chart". Irish Charts. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
  8. ^ "Swiss Singles Chart". Swiss Charts. September 28, 1986. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
  9. ^ SaneelGB (2013-01-01), Brother Bear Theatrical Trailer (2003), retrieved 2016-07-14
  10. ^ cineAE (2006-12-08), Over the Hedge Trailer, retrieved 2016-07-14

External links[edit]